Our firm has recently gone through a series of partner defections – we were a 40 attorney firm – now we are 10. In our last partnership meeting we had some discussions about the possibility of dissolving the firm. If this comes to pass – do you have any tips or suggestions regarding winding down the firm?
Winding down a firm is like starting a firm but in reverse, harder, and has more steps. Sort of like building a house and then later tearing it down. You will have to deal with:
Unlike other businesses – the major asset of a law firm are its clients, employees, and partners – many of which may have already defected or walked out the door. You may be left with only the liabilities.
One of your priorities will be to decide who will manage the winddown and who will manage internal and external communications. Then you will need to develop a project management plan and dissolution/winddown plan/checklist. Major priorities will include:
Firm should consider if it will retain a caretaker or trustee to manage the winddown.
You should insure that you review the ethical requrements with your state bar association concerning:
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC